France Preparing to Introduce Plain Packaging for Cigarettes

France Preparing to Introduce Plain Packaging for Cigarettes

France is preparing to take some strict actions to bring a decline in the number of smokers. It will introduce plain packaging for cigarettes and will levy ban on e-cigarettes in specific public places.

On Thursday, the French Health Minister Marisol Touraine announced the proposal. The law will be similar to the one introduced in Australia two years back. In Australia, the step has brought a drop in the tobacco consumption. Smoking would be banned in playgrounds and in cars having children under the age of 12, announced Touraine.

The ban was needed as France is one of the nations having the highest rates of under-16s smoking in Europe. In Western Europe, only Greece and Austria have the higher smoking rates. As per European Union laws, it is mandatory for tobacco companies to cover 65% of packaging with health warnings.

Electronic cigarettes will get banned in schools, public transports and in enclosed workplaces. Initially, advertising of electronic cigarettes will be permitted, but then they will face complete ban.

Touraine affirmed that there are 13 million adults in France who smoke. More than 70,000 people die every year in the country because of smoking related problems. Situation is getting worse and they cannot let that happen, affirmed Touraine.

If the proposal gets passed then just the cigarettes brand name will be printed on the package and that too with the plain lettering. Touraine said that there is no miracle cure for tobacco addiction. This is one of the ways to curb the smoking rate.

Experts affirmed that Europe already has some strictest laws with regard to branding and the appearance of cigarette packaging. "A positive social message is being delivered. It involves the "denormalisation" of a molecule that has such a profound impact on public health and an impact on cancer", affirmed Professor of oncology, Henri Joyeux.

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